Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant
(via Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Library of Congress)

Four presidents have ties to the St. Louis area, and each has left his mark on it.

Ulysses S. Grant came to St. Louis in 1843 after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and farmed in the St. Louis area for six years. He met his future wife here; Julia Dent was the sister of one of Grant’s classmates at West Point. The two were married in St. Louis in 1848. Grant led the Union armies to victory in the Civil War, and was elected the 18th president of the United States, taking office in 1869.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As a boy, Ulysses Simpson Grant was humble and quiet. His classmates took this for a lack of intelligence and gave Ulysses the nickname “Useless.”

But as a young man he was accepted into West Point. Grant graduated in 1843, but planned to leave military service as soon as possible. His first assignment was in Jefferson Barracks, south of St. Louis, where he met Julia Dent, the sister of his West Point roommate. He fell madly in love and married her in 1848 after returning from the War with Mexico.

Ulysses S. Grant
(via Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Library of Congress)

Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation is trying to raise money for a driving trail exploring Ulysses S. Grant's path through the state in the first year of the Civil War.

The group is hosting a fundraising dinner next Wednesday at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.

Foundation president Gregory Wolk says they're working on a segment of the Grant Trail in St. Louis County and in talks with other counties about future projects.